German city council bashes Open Office, wants Microsoft back

OpenOffice and its offshoots have made a lot of progress over the last few years, and while it has saved some businesses and governments a lot of money, one city council in Freiburg, Germany is not happy about the open source suite.

Alright, so that's really not that big of a deal, you're saying - after all, how many of you have ever been to Freiburg, or care what kind of software its city council is using? What is a big deal is the hilarious takedown they delivered, pretty much summing up 90% of criticism directed at the suite. Here's a literal translation of their statement:

"In the specific case of the use of OpenOffice, the hopes and expectations of the year 2007 are not fulfilled.”


There you have it: a stodgy city council bashing OpenOffice for being outdated. Why aren't American city councils this fun?

To be fair, the ancient version of OpenOffice the council is using - their report says that it is an outdated Oracle version - probably is getting a bit long in the tooth. But the software really hasn't advanced very much since its inception, either.

Still, the Freiburg Council says that the suite is most pitiful when it comes to spreadsheets and presentations, blaming the worst deficiencies on infighting in the open source community. Long story short, they want their Microsoft Office back.

In a nutshell, this story pretty much summarizes the alleged problems with open source software, and while we're sure that it gets the job done for some folks, there are still a lot of holes in the concept, and OpenOffice in general. We'd still love to see Apache, OpenOffice's new stewards, or The Document Foundation, muster up and deliver a new suite that really can stand up against Microsoft, though.

So, is Open Office stuck in the past, or is it ‘good enough?' Are there some specific improvements you'd like to see, or do you just want it to die faster? Sound off in the comments section below!

Source: ARN | Via Softpedia

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They want microsoft office back because _____________

IMHO, what's correct:
a) we don't like X product.

and what smells fishy
b) we don't like X product, we want Y product.


I'm not aware of any Office suite that's on a par with Microsoft Office, free or otherwise. As the OS market diversifies with OS X, iOS and Android starting to compete more evenly with Windows I expect to see it become more important to Microsoft than ever.

At home I either use Google docs or Freeoffice. They both work ok for home use. Nothing beats ms office though

Freeoffice did a better job converting a word document than Libreoffice or Kingsoft office (some parts of the text that were meant to be bold weren't in Libreoffice)

Lol @ all the anti-open-source comments here.
MS office is what, £200 for the cheapest version, open office is crap yes but libre office is completely free no matter where you are.
Sure if you were a child in africa unable to get much food, feeling starving all the time you'd be very happy to have a OLPC laptop with libre office than no libre office, so what if it doesn't compete with MS office, grow up.
Hey I guess you could take the possible bounty on your friends to kill them, get the money and you might be able to afford more food and ms office though hey?

n_K said,
Lol @ all the anti-open-source comments here.
MS office is what, £200 for the cheapest version, open office is crap yes but libre office is completely free no matter where you are.
Sure if you were a child in africa unable to get much food, feeling starving all the time you'd be very happy to have a OLPC laptop with libre office than no libre office, so what if it doesn't compete with MS office, grow up.
Hey I guess you could take the possible bounty on your friends to kill them, get the money and you might be able to afford more food and ms office though hey?

Eh? I thought we were talking about a Government department's decision to switch to Microsoft Office in a western country where licensing is a drop in the ocean?

I fully agree with where you're coming from, but we're not really talking about OLPC here?

n_K said,
Lol @ all the anti-open-source comments here.
MS office is what, £200 for the cheapest version, open office is crap yes but libre office is completely free no matter where you are.
Sure if you were a child in africa unable to get much food, feeling starving all the time you'd be very happy to have a OLPC laptop with libre office than no libre office, so what if it doesn't compete with MS office, grow up.
Hey I guess you could take the possible bounty on your friends to kill them, get the money and you might be able to afford more food and ms office though hey?

If you are starving in Africa you probably not have access to a computer...

But anyway £200 is nothing if you work with MS Office professionally if you compare what you can earn with it. And no I'm not starving, more the opposite.

And it has nothing to do with anti-open-source, its about using the right tool at the right time.

Remember it was the OpenOffice community back in the days when it was all the hype that their product was good as or better then MS Office and every public sector should change to it to "save money". That hype it today all gone becuase people realised that it was just not true.

n_K said,
Lol @ all the anti-open-source comments here.
MS office is what, £200 for the cheapest version, open office is crap yes but libre office is completely free no matter where you are.
Sure if you were a child in africa unable to get much food, feeling starving all the time you'd be very happy to have a OLPC laptop with libre office than no libre office, so what if it doesn't compete with MS office, grow up.
Hey I guess you could take the possible bounty on your friends to kill them, get the money and you might be able to afford more food and ms office though hey?

Point taken...

Libre Office is for poor children in Africa that can't afford an office suite that's viable in the world's business offices.

Microsoft Office is for businesses and anyone that can afford and needs a powerful office suite.

Free is a selling point, but only that, a selling point. Spending money to make something you do everyday (and that probably earns you money) easier, more enjoyable, and of a better quality is always money well spent.

I have very straightforward needs when it comes to Documents so I use Google Docs, the sharing is invaluable. If I need to open a document downloaded to the Desktop, LibreOffice works fine for me. I don't need to shell out hundreds of dollars for something that I use occasionally, and it's a bit slow, but haven't had any actual problem with the way that it works or displays the page.

I've tried Microsoft's web apps, Microsoft drone on about how Google Docs doesn't do everything that Microsoft Office can and doesn't display pages right, but the truth is that web apps aren't any better, except if it can't display it properly (a lot of the time) it gives you a link to open it in the full version of word. No different to Google Cloud Sync. Web apps hasn't got anything over Google Docs.

I use all OSes, literally and open/libre office or any non-MS office product is crap. From usability to performance even down to how they look MS Office has no competitor.

You get what you pay for and in the case of OpenOffice you pay nothing and therefore you get nothing. Simple as that.

fetbaffe said,
You get what you pay for and in the case of OpenOffice you pay nothing and therefore you get nothing. Simple as that.

I have a portable version of OpenOffice.com and Microsoft Office 2010 (which I won from testing their Tech Preview).

I prefer Microsoft Office 2010.

I only use OpenOffice.com to recall the Lessons Learned on why UI Design is also important.

I'm a Windows *and* Linux user, and Open Office/Libre Office doesn't come anywhere within a 1,000 foot radius of Microsoft Office.

Different leagues altogether.

I think people quickly forget that the cost of software isn't the only cost IT departments need to worry about, but the cost of training and support as well. It is highly unlikely that most of those employees have ever used OpenOffice in their personal lives, so a lot of money is sunk into retraining.

dagamer34 said,
I think people quickly forget that the cost of software isn't the only cost IT departments need to worry about, but the cost of training and support as well. It is highly unlikely that most of those employees have ever used OpenOffice in their personal lives, so a lot of money is sunk into retraining.

And of course lost productivity for the end users which can cost millions and millions.

The idea that you can save money automatically by going open source is just a false argument.

Eh, I've never had to deal with open software or programs. The university gives me a good discount for microsoft office and I'm very happy with it.

I have had a lot of issues with OpenOffice. It struggles to open large Excel spreadsheets, and lacks the speed (perhaps due to it's Java base) and polish of the Microsoft Office suite. For some businesses, it's enough - but it still needs a lot of work (a ribbon interface would be nice). Office 2007 is all you need (for now) - there is no reason to upgrade to the newer versions. Office has been a quality product. Let's just hope that Microsoft keep the quality standard up in future versions, instead of giving every inch of the program the Metro UI.

Why didn't they use Libre Office? Sigh, I remember the days when it was Corel vs Microsoft with teachers/ office people arguing which one was better.

If OpenOffice isn't doing what they want, there's no problem with them wanting a better product (I don't expect anyone who has used MS Office disagrees that it is better). As long as they use OPEN formats to store data, I see no issue.

Microsoft Office 2013 supports ODF 1.2 (most current Open Document Format standard) which open / libre office was set as default for a while. Where Microsoft Office 2010 only supported ODF 1.1. Opening open document format files in Microsoft office were hit and miss because of this.

In addition, Office 2013 fully support the Microsoft format they submitted to the ISO standards board, ironically Office 2010 didn't do this completely.

OpenOffice is alright, I suggest it to anyone who doesn't want to pay for MS Office. The people working on it have done a great job. That said I love Office 2013 and for the first time I keep wanting to use it i'm running out of reasons to use it

You can't trust OpenOffice or LibreOffice to do a simple task of opening a docx file properly.

Seriously, unless you want to screw yourself over VERY badly, you should not use this trash heap of a software. I tried it - hell it can't render a f-ing syllabus correctly. Do not even try doing proofs in this thing or create a presentable document. It is just not work the risk for a student...

Easy, functional, compatible, and fast. None of these apply to OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
Welcome to reality.

Office Web Apps are easier to use.

Majesticmerc said,
Well of course Microsoft products are better at opening Microsoft formats.

I think OpenOffice needs to die off.

Web Apps have taken over.

ArialBlue said,

I think OpenOffice needs to die off.

Web Apps have taken over.

Really? Historically only having one player in a given market has always been bad for consumers.

OpenOffice (well, LibreOffice nowadays, since OpenOffice is all but dead now) serves a useful purpose as being a "good enough" free alternative to MS Office, and personally use it. That said, I don't do much more than light typing these days. While at University though I bought MS Office 2007 for my projects because OpenOffice (at the time) couldn't cut it.

Interestingly, OpenOffice does have a web app in the pipeline (src: http://www.zdnet.com/cloud-bas...oo-mobile-users-7000007188/)

Majesticmerc said,
Well of course Microsoft products are better at opening Microsoft formats.

Funnily enough, not really. Microsoft goes on and on about backwards compatibility, but Word is often quite bad at opening files created in earlier versions.

Once I had to use OpenOffice to open some word documents my Mother had authored, since Word refused to render them properly.

ArialBlue said,
You can't trust OpenOffice or LibreOffice to do a simple task of opening a docx file properly.

Seriously, unless you want to screw yourself over VERY badly, you should not use this trash heap of a software. I tried it - hell it can't render a f-ing syllabus correctly. Do not even try doing proofs in this thing or create a presentable document. It is just not work the risk for a student...

Easy, functional, compatible, and fast. None of these apply to OpenOffice or LibreOffice.
Welcome to reality.

Office Web Apps are easier to use.

My experience is that AbiWord does a better job with docx than OpenOffice and LibreOffice.

http://abisource.com/

Alternatives are always nice to have for whatever level or user or business you're running...make do when you have to and get the best tool for the job when you can afford them...wonder how many other groups switched and did just fine...

abecedarian paradoxious said,
Remember, everyone- open source is secure.

They promise.

What does security have to do with this?

Open Source != Security; Closed Source/Proprietary != Security.

Just an FYI

LogicalApex said,

What does security have to do with this?

Open Source != Security; Closed Source/Proprietary != Security.

Just an FYI


Security is not just about protection against bugs / hacks, et cetera. It can also imply a sense of continuity and relevance over time.

Just an FYI.

OpenOffice and LibreOffice are fine for people that don't work with many other people or collaborate with the real world. If you are a student or a professional that wants to get published or do any real work, you using Microsoft Office, pure and simple.

norseman said,
OpenOffice and LibreOffice are fine for people that don't work with many other people or collaborate with the real world. If you are a student or a professional that wants to get published or do any real work, you using Microsoft Office, pure and simple.

Please, these suite suck big time.
Slow to import MSOffice documents
Bad formats handling
Crazy UI and standards
Full of bugs

OpenOffice crashed while trying to load some Office documents, upgrading to LibreOffice fixed the issue but there are still a ton of stupid issues.

Get what you pay for... and quite frankly, that's half the arguement isn't it?
Want MS Office, stump up the cash!

And really, does it matter what it looks like? As long as it gets the job done. Keeping in mind the cost outlaid of course.

Raa said,
And really, does it matter what it looks like? As long as it gets the job done. Keeping in mind the cost outlaid of course.

Yes, it does. What MS did with the ribbon - surfacing some great but hard to find features - makes MSO a hell of a lot easier to use. That means less time wrestling with the program and more time working on the actual thing you're doing.

primexx said,

Yes, it does. What MS did with the ribbon - surfacing some great but hard to find features - makes MSO a hell of a lot easier to use. That means less time wrestling with the program and more time working on the actual thing you're doing.


The ribbon makes a HUGE difference. It's pure genius in UI design.

primexx said,

Yes, it does. What MS did with the ribbon - surfacing some great but hard to find features - makes MSO a hell of a lot easier to use. That means less time wrestling with the program and more time working on the actual thing you're doing.

I have to disagree. Maybe the ribbon works for you. But I hate the ribbon. I have been using Office since the days of Office 95. The ribbon actually made it hard for me to find features. Despite using the ribbon for over 3 years now, I am still much less productive with the Ribbon than I was without it.

raghavny80 said,

I have to disagree. Maybe the ribbon works for you. But I hate the ribbon. I have been using Office since the days of Office 95. The ribbon actually made it hard for me to find features. Despite using the ribbon for over 3 years now, I am still much less productive with the Ribbon than I was without it.

It's hard because you think old fashioned.

Anyway. the biggest reason isn't the Ribbon UI. It is functions and features. In which OpenOffice never ever have been good at. For basic task it works just fine. More than that and you have to triple the effort for the same with MS Office.

x-byte said,
It's hard because you think old fashioned.

Anyway. the biggest reason isn't the Ribbon UI. It is functions and features. In which OpenOffice never ever have been good at. For basic task it works just fine. More than that and you have to triple the effort for the same with MS Office.


According to Wikipedia, the OpenOffice suit is written in C++ and Java. The Apache TEam could just implement ribbon class into it. Why is it so hard?

raghavny80 said,

I have to disagree. Maybe the ribbon works for you. But I hate the ribbon. I have been using Office since the days of Office 95. The ribbon actually made it hard for me to find features. Despite using the ribbon for over 3 years now, I am still much less productive with the Ribbon than I was without it.

I agree 100%, and no Xbyte, I don't 'think old fashioned'.
The ribbon (in concept) isn't bad, it is just poorly executed. I struggle to find things.. my solution was to make my own tab that just had all of the things I use. Very useful... except the level of customization is **** poor. It would be nice if you could re-arrange and resize all of the things within the ribbon, but as far as I know you cannot. As a result, my custom tab just looks like a mess (and it doesn't help me when I use other people's computers that don't have that custom tab, puts me right back at square 1.)

Kenny Kanashimi Chu said,

According to Wikipedia, the OpenOffice suit is written in C++ and Java. The Apache TEam could just implement ribbon class into it. Why is it so hard?

Software patents and license agreements.

rfirth said,

Software patents and license agreements.


Thanks for the heads up! But I want to know that other software may used it without patents. I guess an office related programs do need one. am i lost or what?

Open Source isn't universally a problem. Any successful projects needs a good team behind it with direction and vision; just like closed sourced software. There are a lot of Open Source success stories as a result, like MySQL; Apache; or Firefox, and many failures.

So I wouldn't consider Open Office's shortcomings representative of Open Source software overall.

LogicalApex said,
Open Source isn't universally a problem. Any successful projects needs a good team behind it with direction and vision; just like closed sourced software. There are a lot of Open Source success stories as a result, like MySQL; Apache; or Firefox, and many failures.

So I wouldn't consider Open Office's shortcomings representative of Open Source software overall.

Yup...OpenOffice is just garbage. I remember when my work used it, we all wanted to kill ourselves during monthly reporting. Thank god they eventually built their own solution...

Dushmany said,
Get the new one then, sheesh!

Edit, shouldn't that read 'German' city council bashes Open Office, wants Microsoft back

ummm still doesn't solve the issue. LibreOffice is just as bad. They need to throw the entire thing away and start with code from today and built it into the future that makes sense, their UI is horrible and the compatibility that they have with Microsoft documents is horrible. The worst project in my opinion in open source.

Yogurtmaster said,

ummm still doesn't solve the issue. LibreOffice is just as bad. They need to throw the entire thing away and start with code from today and built it into the future that makes sense, their UI is horrible and the compatibility that they have with Microsoft documents is horrible. The worst project in my opinion in open source.


I agree. We use OpenOffice and LibreOffice at my work office and but are being replaced by Office 2007 after 2 years.

Ricardo Dawkins said,

I agree. We use OpenOffice and LibreOffice at my work office and but are being replaced by Office 2007 after 2 years.

How are you replacing it with Office 2007, that hasn't been sold in years....

xendrome said,

How are you replacing it with Office 2007, that hasn't been sold in years....

Old licenses, though 2010 would be a better choice.